Lessons I Learned from Writing by Wendy LaCapra – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award one of ten ebooks to ten randomly drawn winners via rafflcopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lessons I Learned from Writing
I should start with a caveat that these lessons aren’t meant to be universal. They apply to my process, which I most likely share with other people who lean toward “writing by the seat of their pants” or, as they are affectionately known in the romance writing community “pantsers.”

1. Mistakes are part of the process

I wasted sooo much time trying to polish a perfect first chapter when it would have been better to write to the end and THEN come back and attack that opening scene. In fact, by the time THE END is reached, that first chapter may end up getting scrapped because it is not the proper place to start the story.

2. Nothing is born whole

Athena may have burst forth from Zeus’s head fully grown and in full armor, but a story? Not so. Even if you are an outliner, a story comes in bits and pieces with corrections and improved insights and deepening. Trying to force the whole immediately will only give you a headache. Kinda like Zeus. Right before Hephaestus stuck a wedge in his skull so Athena could do the whole bursting thing.

3. Follow your inspiration

Watching a TV show and find a certain character/situation/line of dialogue intriguing? Write it down. Reading a book/article/billboard and suddenly say “hummm”? Write it down. See a beautiful color? Hear a rousing tune? Have a penetrating conversation? Write it down. In every little thing that makes you come alive is the potential for a story or for a part of a story. You’re the miner. The thing that stirs you is the line of Quartz. Follow it and you may strike gold.

4. If you have to explain, you’ve made things too complicated

My husband tells me that when he first read Alice in Wonderland he hated the part where the caterpillar orders Alice, “Explain yourself.” In general, explaining is a tedious thing to do, a tedious thing to listen to, and a tedious thing to read. A little explanation is necessary, but when you find yourself explaining for a page or so, it’s time to step back and see if another story event is needed to show a character’s motivation and/or essence.

5. If you can’t move forward, you may need to fix something in the past.

Hindsight, the rueful saying goes, is 20/20. Yes it is. Luckily, when writing fiction, the past is not set in stone & 20/20 hindsight can actually be of use. Whenever I am stuck, stuck, stuck, it is a sure sign I have gone off track somewhere in the story’s recent past.

Is there some insight writing and/or reading has brought to your life? If so, I’d love to hear it!

MediaKit_BookCover_LadyScandalLondon, 1784

Sophia Baneham has lived in the poison of her dead father’s shadow for longer than she cares to admit. Now she exists outside of polite society’s influence, holding gambling parties for London’s most dangerous men. When a man walks into one of her soirees, a compelling mix of charisma and icy control, he offers the lady of sin a wager she can’t refuse…

Lord Randolph is a spy in the service of His Majesty, but he’s given an oath to protect the daughter of his mentor. Even as his gamble of marriage starts to spiral out of control and his passions ignite, Randolph is determined that he’ll handle things his way…

But when danger closes in, Randolph won’t just have to protect Sophia from an intended killer. He’ll have to protect her from himself…

Enjoy an excerpt:

He had never before failed in a mission. Never.

Clearly, he had been off his game and there was only one reason.


Before they had met, Randolph had thought of Sophia as an evil-made-necessary—a means to probe the secrets Baneham had left behind. But then she had turned her cornflower blue eyes on him and everything had changed.

…Hours after returning from India, he arrived at a Fury soiree—uninvited. Lady Sophia’s footman stuttered under his glower, but the man refused to grant him entry. No one could be admitted to the soiree, the man insisted, without approval of the hostess, even if accompanied, as Randolph was, by the hostess’s cousin.

He remained in the hall, suffering the indignity of his wait with hands clasped behind his back. The entry was hardly what he had expected of Baneham’s home. The man had been the epitome of male. These furnishings could only be described as—he suppressed an inward shudder—dainty.

He peered into the rooms beyond. The dandies within did nothing to dilute the feminine air. The library was a rainbow of velvet jackets and frothing cravats, topped with clouds of fluffed white wigs. Even from the distance, the scent proved this the motliest male collection of Eau du Cologne enthusiasts ever assembled.

“Cousin Charles has brought me a gift, I see.” Her voice sang over his veins the way the wind sang against lines of a hoisted sail—the song sank all the way into his cock.

He turned.

The voice came from a petite, provocatively curved woman sewn into her pink silk bodice—he could think of no other way the fabric could fit so tight. Her hair powder was laced with a matching pink hue. She looked like strawberries and cream and, if he was permitted a taste of her lips, he was certain she’d be as mouthwateringly sweet.

Her gaze dropped from his face and traveled boldly down his body.

By Saint George, he wanted a sampling of her sweetness.

“Lord Randolph,” he said, “at your service.”

Her faint smile implied a flirtatious scold. “You do not have an invitation, Lord Randolph.”

“Soon remedied, I hope. I am recently returned from the continent.” She did not need to know which continent—nor how recently. “I have heard your soirees are the must-attend events for any London rake worth his salt.”

“Do you fancy yourself a rake, then, Lord Randolph?” She sounded hopeful, blast her sensual voice.

He leaned forward and whispered, “Issue me an invitation, sweetness, and I will provide any proof you may require.”

“No proof is required…” a faint, secret smile teased her mouth—both challenge and invitation, “at present.”

It had been lust at first sight. She lit a carnal fire in his blood and the resulting burn was hotter and deeper than any he’d known.

About the Author:

Wendy LaCapra, a 2012 Golden Heart® Finalist, has been reading romance since she discovered Victoria Holt (in the library’s adult section!) From that point on, her only dream was to create worlds with historical richness, intrigue and pleasure. She lives in NYC with her husband and can occasionally be found gossiping about history and romance with the Dashing Duchesses or burning up the web with those mystical mistresses of resilience, the GH class of 2012 aka the Firebirds.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Thank you for hosting me!

  3. Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?

    • Thanks for commenting, Mai! I don’t have data that would allow me to test specific marketing efforts. And, since this is only my second book published, I am still learning. Book giveaways are always popular, though.

  4. Beverly Ross says:

    I love the Furies! I can’t wait for the next book!

  5. lori faires says:

    I love The Lessons Learned from Writing. I enjoyed the excerpt . Blessings and Thanks

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